A Blossom in the Ashes

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
353 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous World War II, A Blossom In The Ashes by Ron Singerton is a love story that throws light on the complexities of relationships that existed during that time, between people and the warring nations. Alexei Kuchenkov and Kimi-San's two sons, Tadichi and Koizumi, were both fighter pilots. Tad flew planes for the U.S. Navy and Koizumi was a fighter pilot with the Imperial Navy of Japan. Everyone knew Tad's mother came from 'the land of the rising sun' and it was not an easy thing for Tadichi to grow up in California, which was filled with racism because of the Japanese advancement. Alexei and Kimi had moved to California with Tad, leaving Koizumi back in Japan with his uncle Itomo-San because of his frail health. The brothers had not met in a long time and Tadichi missed his brother but they did not have to wait for too long when Koizumi flew to Hawaii to meet his family along with Tad's old Ikebana Sensei, Mrs. Hiroku Imoto, and her twenty-six-year-old apprentice, Sayuri Saito.

The story not only captures the confusion and destruction caused by the war, but also the emotional bonding of two lovers separated by war, their commitment, and loyalty. The detailed and descriptive narrative makes the scenes come alive, and the conflicts, tensions, and characters have been crafted well. All the characters have been portrayed strongly and each one is memorable in their personality and individuality. The war backdrop creates a sense of urgency, drama, and action while reading, and the angst and the trauma that comes with every war is palpable in the plot. Ron Singerton seamlessly weaves emotions and a love story into the plot and makes it fast-paced and compelling to readers. A Blossom In The Ashes is a good reminder about the hardships caused by war. The endless complications, the contrasting personalities of the two brothers, the romance between Sayuri and Tad, and the descriptions of World War II make the book a page-turner.

Romuald Dzemo

A Blossom in the Ashes by Ron Singerton is a compelling historical novel with strong shades of romance. It is set against the backdrop of WWII and follows two brothers, Tad and Koizumi, who are involved in the war. The elder brother, Tad, flies for the US Navy while his brother is a fighter pilot of the Imperial Navy of Japan. Koizumi comes home to Hawaii to visit the family; he is accompanied by Sayuri, a beautiful woman. While Koizumi is happy to be reunited with his brother, his heart is torn when he discovers that he has developed a romantic relationship with Sayuri. Soon, Koizumi and Sayuri are called back to Tokyo and while this means a break in the romance between the woman and his younger brother, Tad knows that a more complex dilemma looms ahead: facing his brother in the war.

This is a well-plotted and ingeniously written novel. The complexity in plot points and the dilemmas in which the characters find themselves make the story an interesting read. Ron Singerton does an impeccable job with the characters. The fighters are offspring of Russian-born Alexei, a man who served in the Tsar’s Navy before immigrating to the United States. In a twist of fate, he finds himself forced to fight the Germans when he goes back to Leningrad for his dying father. The writing is neat and crisp, the narrative voice beguiling, and the historical elements of the setting so skillfully written into the story it feels real to the reader. A Blossom in the Ashes is a must-read for readers who enjoy WWII narratives.

Rabia Tanveer

A Blossom in the Ashes by Ron Singerton is the sequel to A Cherry Blossom in Winter. Set in 1941, this is the story of two brothers on opposite sides of borders and war. Tad is living in the USA while his brother Koizumi is in Japan. While Tad is in the US Navy, his brother is in the Imperial Navy of Japan. The brothers may be different but they have the same aspirations as their father Alexei. They were looking forward to meeting each other after 25 years, but that all changed when they both fell for the same woman. Tad is happy to have his feelings reciprocated, but Koizumi is a little jealous. However, that is the least of their worries. They soon find out that they both will be fighting for their countries and neither of them will hold back. What will happen now? Will familial love win over patriotism? Will there be anything left after the ravaging war.

Riveting and incredibly well-written, A Blossom in the Ashes by Ron Singerton got my attention and refused to let go. The tension was running high from the moment the story began and the author kept the momentum going until the end. The author gave the story an extra oomph with his well-fleshed-out characters. Each character had a backstory that was given due attention to make sure the plot had no loose ends. The author gives a different look at World War II. The tension is running high between the brothers the moment they meet, yet they grow to like each other. I was unable to pick a side; both of them had valid points and the author didn’t make it easy for me to make a choice anyway. The ending was quite beautiful and not what I was expecting. I enjoyed it.